Vice President Iotova: "Implementing Mechanism for Albania's National Minorities Protection Law Will Be Developed within Six Months"

Tirana, November 14 (BTA Special Correspondent Asen Boyadjiev) - "A mechanism and regulatory framework for the application of Albania's Law on the Protection of National Minorities will be developed within six months," Bulgarian President Iliana Iotova told journalists here on Tuesday after talks with Albanian President Ilir Meta, with Parliament President Gramoz Ruci and with Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Iotova commented that the country's leaders had assured her that the mechanism and regulatory framework will protect to a maximum extent all minority rights as regulated under European law. She was told that Albania has always treated its minorities in this way.

The Vice President commented that this is the beginning of a very long process and a lot of work lies ahead because the Bulgarian national minority will enjoy such rights for the first time. "It was very important to me to get guarantees that the Bulgarian language will be studied at places with a sufficient number of children where the population of Bulgarian descent is concentrated. Mechanisms will be developed for the inclusion of the Bulgarian language in the regular secondary school curriculum instead of being studied at Saturday and Sunday schools," she pointed out.

With the Albanian Prime Minister, Iotova raised the issue of speeding up the process of establishing cultural centres under an agreement that the two countries signed several years ago "because this is the natural place where the Bulgarian community, its associations will be able to teach history and Bulgarian traditions to children, to organize folk festivals, various performances, to arrange exchanges between children from Bulgaria and children of Bulgarian descent in Albania."

The Vice President believes that Tuesday's appointments achieved to a maximum extent the purpose of her visit to Albania.

Source: Tirana